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Joel Greene HMO Smoothie Recipe (Human Milk Oligosaccharides)

June 14, 2021 3 min read

Joel Greene HMO Smoothie Recipe (Human Milk Oligosaccharides) - Layer Origin Nutrition

If you've read his book, The Immunity Code, then you're already familiar with Joel Greene. He's a truly unique voice in the fitness and nutrition world as he doesn't have an impressive degree on his resume and doesn't hold expensive certifications.

Joel Greene author photoInstead, he's done decades of self-experimentation, consulting for nutrition companies, and read thousands of hours worth of scientific papers on a multitude of topics surrounding nutrition, biology, and overall health. 

In Greene's book, one of the first protocols he advises readers to start with involves red apple skins (apple peels) and something called "HMO".

HMO stands for Human Milk Oligosaccharide, which is a component found naturally in human breast milk. Research studies have shown it is incredibly beneficial for infants who are breastfeeding - essentially acting as the main lever in setting up their gut bacteria in a way that bolsters their immune system and wards off illness for years to come. 

The Immunity Code book coverHMO is so powerful, that researchers began experimenting with methods for replicating the molecular structure of HMO via the fermentation of lactose. After decades of experimentation, researchers were finally able to achieve the goal of producing an HMO that is not derived from human milk, but that is bio-identical to the HMO in human milk at the molecular level.

Companies began putting this bio-identical HMO into baby formulas. Researchers also administered this bio-identical HMO to participants in health studies and found that it exhibited much of the same properties as the HMO found naturally in breast milk - meaning that it provided relief for those experiencing excess gas, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. 

This marked a major breakthrough: adults could receive the benefits of HMO without needing to get it from real breastmilk. A "game changer" if you will. 

For several years, as a major proponent of HMO supplementation, Joel Greene advised his clients to purchase baby formula containing HMO because that was the only way to get your hands on bio-identical HMO. Greene believes that HMO is a key first step in the process of building up your gut so that your immune system is strengthened and you're primed for weight loss.

Friends and clients, such as Mark Bell, would basically add baby formula powder into their protein shakes and chug. The problem was that baby formula is full of things that adults don't necessarily want or need nutritionally - fillers that may contain excess sugar, fat, etc. 

HMO in baby formulaBut in 2020, Layer Origin Nutrition was one of the first companies in the world to bring a pure bio-identical HMO to market and sell it directly to consumers online. Layer Origin Nutrition's PureHMO has reached an unprecedented purity level of 98%.

Many people often wonder how to take HMO - do you just mix the powder in water? Is it safe to mix it in hot coffee? 

Joel Greene told Ben Greenfield on his Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast, that he prefers to have HMO mixed in with his daily protein shakes. 

Here is Joel Greene's HMO Smoothie Recipe: 

  • Red Apple Peels
  • Red Phenols (powder)
  • Whey Protein 
  • HMO Powder 
  • Water 
  • Ice

Greene drinks whey protein shakes often to blunt his appetite and reduce blood sugar spikes during his main meals. He also strongly recommends consuming red phenols in The Immunity Code. 

You can purchase apple peel powder online or just skin your own red apples and add the peels into your food processor or blender along with the other smoothie ingredients. 

Greene does not endorse or recommend any specific brand of HMO powder, however, the show notes in the transcript of the podcast episode on Ben Greenfield's website do link to Layer Origin Nutrition's PureHMO Amazon page. The link directs you to the PureHMO Prebiotic capsules, but Layer Origin Nutrition also offers its best-selling PureHMO Prebiotic Powder both on Amazon and at


3 Responses


February 21, 2022

What time of day to drink this shake?


December 16, 2021

Yes, a recent study published in Nutrients (2020) concluded that in addition to HMO’s bifidogenic activity, HMOs have the capacity to modulate immune function and the gut barrier.

Article Link:

1) A significant reduction in paracellular permeability of FITC-dextran probe was observed using Caco2 cell monolayers with fermented 2’FL and MIX,

2) They showed that fermentation of 2’-O-fucosyllactose (2’FL), lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT), and combinations thereof (MIX) led to an increase of bifidobacteria, accompanied by an increase of short chain fatty acid (SCFA), in particular butyrate with 2’FL.


December 16, 2021

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